Aircraft

Joby partners with Japan's largest airline on local flying taxi service

Joby partners with Japan's lar...
Five-seater eVTOL concept from Joby Aviation
Five-seater eVTOL concept from Joby Aviation
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Five-seater eVTOL concept from Joby Aviation
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Five-seater eVTOL concept from Joby Aviation

When it comes the the eVTOLs Joby Aviation is making as many moves as anyone, and its latest centers on new mobility options for the people of Japan. The startup has joined forces with the country's largest airline to establish an aerial ridesharing service, with Toyota also onboard to explore transport connections on the ground.

We got our first look at Joby's vision for the future of urban transport back in 2015 when the company showed off an electric aircraft designed to take off and land vertically, and tilt its propellors at altitude to fly horizontally at impressive speeds. And we recently saw just how quickly the company's aircraft can travel, with its S4 electric air taxi prototype hitting a true airspeed of 205 mph (330 km/h), faster than any eVTOL to date.

As its flight testing program continues apace, the company is also forging ahead on the administrative side of things, having outlined a vision for vertiports on top of multi-story carparks and moving its US certification efforts along with the reveal of a second pre-production eVTOL model. Earlier this month it also partnered with local telecommunications company SKT to introduce an air taxi service in South Korea.

Announced today, the new partnership with airline Ana involves using its five-seat all-electric aircraft for aerial travel around Japan. This air taxi has a top speed of 200 mph (321 km/h) and maximum range of 150 miles (241 km), with the 31-mile (50-km) journey from Osaka station to Kansai International Airpot offered up as an example of the type of route it could service.

This currently takes 55 minutes by car, but Joby's flying taxi could complete the trip in 14 minutes, according to the duo. Ana and Joby will work together on pilot training, infrastructure, air traffic management and regulation requirements. Toyota, which is actually Joby's largest investor and has worked with the startup since 2019, will investigate how ground transportation can be integrated into the service.

“Joby exists to help people save time while reducing their carbon footprint," said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. "Japan offers us a spectacular opportunity to do just that with 92 percent of the population living in urban areas and Tokyo registering as one of the top 20 most congested cities in the world."

Source: Joby Aviation

7 comments
7 comments
Steven Clarkson
Of course it's JOBY who else ! JoeBen have a remarkable team and seeing them partnering up locally and abroad is really exciting for the industry. Well done Sir ! One step closer to revolutionizing short distance travel, and reducing the advantage gap with current mainstream long distance air transport !
guzmanchinky
Very cool! I wonder if Joby should use those higher capacity / lower weight batteries in the other recent Newatlas article?
Arcticshade
Cant wait to see this unfold Guzman...time will tell !!
christopher
"regulation requirements" - ROFL - good luck getting permission from JCAB to let something that cannot glide to a safe landing in emergencies, carry humans around in the sky, over the top of other humans on the ground. Maybe 100 years ago, but not in the 21st century, when people actually care about safety and not being killed by idiots falling out of the sky on them...
Steven Clarkson
Good luck with your primitive closed minded view. This is not an unreliable ICE mechanical failure prone machine. Electric technology have proven itself to be Utmost Reliable in many thousands of Realtime Flights.

No need to glide when you have Superior reliable electric motors for redundancy. Far better than autorotation. Something that cannot be said for single point failure mechanical systems and BTW better not botch that autorotation on a conventional rotorcraft (which so many a times happen )

Yes indeed regulation is far behind the times, it's time for fresh minds that knows the technology to take on this sector. Because clearly old minds cannot keep up with the rate at which reliable technology advances.
Towerman
@Christopher ROFLMAO
Multicopters can do one better it can land SAFER than conventional rotorcraft due to redundant motors that don't fail to begin with unlike ICE engined aircraft ;)
So Definitely the first choice to fly over humans over the sky over other humans. You must be living in a cave some where to not understand the technology. Multicopters will be the Safest choice. Single rotored aircraft many a times have come down over people's heads, want me to show you the NTSB statistics of the outcome ? ;)
guzmanchinky
christopher you truly don't understand the engineering. Electric motors are 1000x less likely to fail, they have redundant systems, automatic stabilization and self flying are a piece of cake and there is room for a ballistic parachute. I'm a pilot btw. of course there will be crashes and deaths somewhere down the line, but the level of safety compared to a standard helicopter is like night and day...